by March 30, 2012 at 3:00 pm 2,520 1 Comment

"Borderstan" "Markets"

Ramps combine the flavors of onions and garlic into one vegetable.  (Stephanie Willis)

From Stephanie Willis. Email her at stephanie[AT], follow her on Twitter @shaw_girl.

Ramps have become the Holy Grail of spring produce, signaling the start of the lovely market season. Farmers market shoppers go into a frenzy when ramps are first spotted on vendor tables. Word spreads like wildfire through the foodie community, almost like Paul Revere announcing the coming of the British army. And before you know it, ramps are on every seasonal restaurant menu in the area.

Somehow the little buggers even sneak into our desserts!  It’s almost like March Madness, but instead of brackets, we have wild leeks. I must admit when I first discovered ramps, I too obsessively stalked the markets for their arrival. I should probably apologize to every farmers market vendor for my constant nagging.

But I was transfixed by the marvelous symphony of garlic and onions composed in this simple little wild vegetable. Being able to combine some of my favorite flavors (garlic and onions) into one was almost too much for me to bear. Before I knew it, I was collecting ramp recipes like they were going out of style.

Rampin’ Recipes

Over the years, I have found some ramp recipes I really love and treasure. So in the spirit of the Foodie March Madness (for ramps), I present my “bracket” of championship ramp recipes.

  • Ramp pesto is almost a no brainer since you have both the garlic and the green component all in one lovely package. And since I tend to use walnuts in almost all of my pestos, this Wild Ramp Pesto recipe won a place in my ramp bracket last year. Try this pesto as the base for a grilled pizza if you are a big garlic lover (like me!)
  • I’m a Southern girl at heart and in the South, we love our biscuits and our pork. So you can imagine my glee upon discovering The Garden Apartment’s Ramp and Ham Buttermilk Biscuits recipe. These biscuits don’t need much build up or explanation. It’s ham. Folded into a buttermilk biscuit. With ramps. Why you’re not at your counter making them now is beyond me.
  • At least once during the ramp season, I bust out this Ramp Risotto recipe because it’s simply divine. Risotto is not as intimidating as it seems. It just takes a wee bit of patience and if I (the queen of the short attention span) can do it, anyone can do it.
  • Remember that ramp pesto recipe a few bullet points up? Remember to save 1/4 cup of it for this Ramp Pesto Mac and Cheese. Being a cheese hound, this recipe immediately caught my eye a few years ago. Even though I am almost always trying to eat healthier by the time ramp season rolls around, I still make an exception for this recipe. Once you’ve tried it, you will too.
  • I had no idea what a gnudi was until I stumbled upon this recipe for Gnudi with Ramps and Brown Butter Sauce. As Homesick Texan explained, gnudi is similar to gnocchi but with ricotta instead of potatoes. I don’t care what you call them, just make sure to give this recipe a try.
  • Finally, I present to you Ramp Crêpes. I love savory crêpes, so adding ramps to the batter seemed only natural. I tend to stuff these ramp crepes with sautéed mushrooms and shredded Gruyère cheese for an amazing crêpe sandwich. Feel free to add your favorite ingredients to these divine crêpes.

Make sure to keep your eyes peeled at Dupont Circle Farmers Market this Sunday for ramps. And get there early. People like me are cut throat when it comes to ramps.

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by March 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm 2,312 0

By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and let her know your news on Twitter @MichLancaster. Email her at michellel[AT]

Take a walk along the 1200 block of U Street on any given evening and what you will note is not what you see, but what you don’t see — crowds of people coming and going from one of the neighborhood’s jewels, the Lincoln Theatre. The reason is simple: bookings for the historic venue are few and far between. So the rumors this week that that the Lincoln might be for sale to a private, for-profit company were not exactly shocking.

DC, Lincoln, Theatre, Luis, Gomez, Photos

The Lincoln Theatre at 1215 U Street NW. ( Luis Gomez Photos)

The background? A big chunk of taxpayer dollars. A mismanaged property in search of a more profitable future. Unclear signals about the city’s plans and how to make the investment a wise one. If you have been in DC for more than a year, you know this could describe a number of properties or situations. But we’re talking about the tangled story of whether or not the Lincoln Theatre has ever been for sale and even if not, should that option be on the table.

The Lincoln, at 1215 U Street NW, has already taken in $9 million in city dollars for renovations and exists largely on subsidies. The city says the original solicitation was for heating and ventilation work; Blues Alley owner Harry Schnipper says he was able to submit a bid to purchase the whole place. (The city officially took complete control of the Lincoln late last year from the non-profit body that ran it.)

Washington City Paper called around to all city offices and was told that it was not, never has been and likely will not be for sale. Given the historic nature of the property, perhaps that makes some sense. God forbid, for example, we lose another landmark to The Donald.

But now that the Theatre is looking for a new executive director and Mayor Gray has declared the funding system unsustainable, what else can the city do? If you have an owner with deep community ties and a respect for the history, does it ever make sense to sell?

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by March 30, 2012 at 11:30 am 2,936 0

Sarah Halzack performs “Hyphen” with Dana Tai Soon Burgess & Company. “Hyphen” is one of four repertoire works featured in the company’s 20th  Anniversary Spring Performance. (Mary Noble Ours)

From Cecile Oreste of danceDC. You can follower her on Twitter @dance_DC or email her at cecile[AT]

Sarah Halzack graduated from The George Washington University with degrees in Journalism and Dance. After graduation, she left her college hood of Foggy Bottom behind and moved to Dupont Circle where she has lived ever since (with the exception of a one year detour to Columbia Heights). In addition to working at The Washington Post as a web producer for business and economic news, Halzack also writes the occasional book review in The Post’s Sunday Outlook section and dances with non-profit modern dance company Dana Tai Soon Burgess & Company.

The goal of the company, which is directed by choreographer Dana Tai Soon Burgess, is to bridge cultures and reduce ethnic barriers through a focus on historic events and personal stories. DTSB&Co was awarded the Mayor’s Arts Award for Artistic Excellence in 2005, has received three Mayoral Proclamations, and has toured extensively both nationally and internationally. On April 5 and 6, the company will celebrate its 20th anniversary with two performances at George Washington University’s Dorothy Betts Marvin Center. Tickets start at $15.

Borderstan: In regards to the upcoming performance, which piece are you most excited to perform and why? What draws you to being part of DTSB&Co?

Halzack: I’m most excited about performing “Fractures,” which is a short trio that depicts the emotional wreckage of a complicated love triangle. This piece is particularly special to me because I first saw it back in 2002 when I first moved to the District. I was a college freshman at the time, and I knew nothing about DTSB&Co and had no idea that I would one day be asked to join the company. As an audience member, the dance hit me like a ton of bricks.

I had tears in my eyes watching each character try to make sense of a tangle of anger, attraction, hope, jealousy and rejection. I loved that the dance was spare and short, a distillation of only utterly essential moments. And perhaps most importantly, I fell in love with the idea that virtually anyone could see a piece of themselves in this dance, because at one time or another, we’ve all been one of these characters.

Given how strongly I reacted to the dance the first time I saw it, it was a great honor for me to be cast in it. I’m excited to bring this complex character to life, and I hope to play her with the same nuance and intensity that once kept me rapt as an audience member.

There are many things that draw me to working with DTSB&Co. First, Dana’s movement style has felt very natural and intuitive to me since the first time I set foot in his class. There’s something about his use of gesture, his floor work, and his propensity for slow, almost dream-like pacing that has always felt like home to me.

I also love working with this company because of the terrific peer group of dancers it has provided me with. Dana has stacked our company with dancers of enormous talent. I am so inspired by the way my fellow dancers move, and watching them week after week in rehearsal pushes me to dance better and dance smarter.

And perhaps most important of all, we all have quite a bit of fun together. It’s a supportive, easy-going and caring group, and that makes everything from rehearsing to touring to performing all the more enjoyable!

Borderstan: What do you enjoy doing? Interests, hobbies other than dance? Favorite places to go in the Borderstan area?

Halzack: I regularly take yoga classes at a couple of studios in the neighborhood, most frequently at Tranquil Space on 17th Street NW. It’s a great way to turn my mind off after a stressful day and I’ve found practicing yoga has helped make me a better dancer. And even when I’m off the clock at The Post, I’m a little bit of a news junkie, so I spend quite a bit of time reading. Cooking is most certainly not one of my hobbies, so I’m a frequent customer of some of Borderstan’s delivery and carry-out joints.

My favorites are Sacrificial Lamb on R Street NW, Thaitanic on 14th Street NW and Great Wall Szechuan House on 14th Street. Shopping for clothes is one of my guilty pleasures, and Borderstan has no shortage of great boutiques for that. My favorite is Muleh. Their merchandise is gorgeous but it’s usually pretty far out of my price range. But that doesn’t stop me from just wandering around in there and getting outfit ideas! And of course, I enjoy a good glass of wine and a delicious dinner and there are no shortage of places to get that in our neighborhood.

Disclosure: Oreste is on the Board of Directors of Dana Tai Soon Burgess & Company.

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by March 30, 2012 at 9:30 am 2,334 0

"Borderstan" "Ross School Auction"

The 2012 Ross Elementary School PTA Auction was March 10 at the German Marshall Fund. (Luis Gomez Photos)

The fourth annual Ross Elementary School PTA auction raised the stakes again this year, bringing in almost $50,000 to support programs at the local school on the 1700 block of R Street NW. The amount easily topped last year’s $40,000 (which was almost double the 2010 event total). All of the funds go directly to the school’s programs.

“We are all so appreciative of the generous donors that make our auction possible. Our public schools cannot thrive without the support of the broader community, and we at Ross feel so lucky that we are part of a community that understands that and gives so much to our school,”  said Ross parent Laura Stack.

Ross Elementary is a public neighborhood school at 1730 R Street NW. The school, like many others in the city and beyond, needs to raise cash to buy tablets and laptops for students and staff. The funds raised at the annual auctions also help support professional development for teachers, as well as student scholarships for their after-school enrichment programs. It serves Pre-K through 5th Grade students.

“We are so grateful that the Ross community rallies around this auction every spring and supports the school. Every dollar raised goes toward technology, teacher enrichment and after-school programs at Ross. The success of this auction is crucial to the school. Special thanks to our parents who volunteered, donors who contributed and community members who attended the auction. We could not raise this money without your help,” said Auction Co-Chair and Ross parent Jennifer Touchette.

“And we certainly want to thank the multitude of businesses that donated their services and items. We encourage everyone to support our local businesses who continue to support Ross and the community at large,” said Touchette.

And that scooter? The winner of the Genuine Buddy 125 scooter from Modern Classics was a teacher at Ross — who uses it to commute to school every day.

Sponsors: was proud to be among this year’s sponsors of the Ross School PTA Auction, along with Level One restaurant, Modern Classics and VIDA Fitness.

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by March 30, 2012 at 8:00 am 2,530 5 Comments

From Luis Gomez. Catch his photos on Picplz and at One Photograph A Day. Follow him on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos.

With the ongoing development and flood of new residents still coming to the the 14th and U area, it was probably inevitable that the soon-to-close post office at 14th and T Street NW would find a new area home.


The 14th Street Post Office will eventually reopen one block north at the Reeves Municipal Center. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Love it or hate it, the post office at 14th Street will still be in the neighborhood. It is just moving a block up to the Reeves Municipal Center at the northwest corner of 14th and U Streets. This option has been bandied about for months and was confirmed Thursday by Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) in a message on local listservs.

Graham said the lease is a done deal and that the post office will occupy “a large space on the ground floor with direct street access.”

Hopefully the new site will also bring a nicer look and shorter lines — and some self-serve stamp machines. The current location at 1915 14th Street NW will remain open through the end of April. No word on the completion date for the Reeves Center location.

Following was the message Graham posted Thursday:

“We have known that USPS decided to attempt to keep the post office in the area. But its new location was subject to site and lease negotiations. The lease with the DC government and USPS is fully executed. The Post Office will occupy a large space on the ground floor with direct street access. The build out is currently being planned.

“And we should be able to announce an opening timeline very soon. It should also be added that the Kalorama post Office in Adams Morgan was also taken from the closure list as a result of this successful process.We worked effectively with Mayor Gray and his team, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Gerald Roane, the DC postmaster and his staff, to save this vital service for DC residents. Thanks for all their great work!

“This is very reassuring for all the people who live and work in the 14th and U Street corridor, numbers that are about to increase dramatically with new development in the next 8-14 months.”

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by March 30, 2012 at 7:00 am 1,822 0


Borderstan: News from Dupont-Logan-U Street.

Borderstan thanks this weeks advertisers for their support. Remember to Think Local First and support local businesses in DC and the Dupont-Logan-U Street neighborhood. Get information about advertising on

Chen Wen/Fairfax Realty: “Chen Wen has been a long time Dupont-Logan resident, having lived here since before Whole Foods was a reality. With more than 20 years of real estate experience, Wen takes pride in the fact that his clients keep coming back to him for their real estate needs.”

DCFoodBuzz: “DCFoodBuzz is a suite of services designed by ASAA Multimedia and Pleasures of the Table specifically for the restaurant and hospitality industry in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Our experience has shown that just having an online presence isn’t enough in today’s competitive market.”

DC Noodles: “Our noodles come from authentic Thai recipes that we love back home. Thailand may not be known as “noodle country” but when we think of food, we think noodles. Pad Thai anyone?” At 1410 U Street NW.

Hank’s Oyster Bar: “Join us for lunch on Fridays, 11:30 am to 3 pm… free soup with every sandwich order. And, Hank’s Oyster Bar and Lounge now has two happy hour events a day.” At 1624 Q Street NW, just off 17th Street.

Jack Evans 2012: “Jack Evans: Leading DC’s economic recovery.” Campaign office at 1402 14th Street NW.

Jo Ricks/City Houses: “Serving downtown buyers and sellers since 1979.This Realtor Is Not Your Average Jo.”

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe: “Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe is DC’s only full-service restaurant and complete bar combined with an independent bookstore.” Just north of Dupont Circle at 1517 Connecticut Avenue NW.

Level One: “Level One is casual chic. The perfect place for the first date or friends meeting for dinner. Large parties are no problem, the music’s great and the atmosphere is pure energy. The venue has a large outdoor seating area and is located below Cobalt.” At 17th and R Streets NW.

Rice: “I have collaborated with our two chefs, Phannarai Promprasert and Big Sriyuthana to create a menu that offers both traditional and contemporary Thai cusine in a very simple setting with minimal decor in the Logan Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC.” At 1608 14th Street NW.

The Rutstein Group: A Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “In today’s market it’s important that your agent has the latest technology working for you! Drop us an email and tell us what you are looking for.” Office at 1606 17th Street NW.

VIDA Fitness: “A FREE 3-Day Membership to DC’s hottest fitness clubs! Start a new fitness plan or continue in your fitness journey with VIDA Fitness at any of our 4 downtown urban chic fitness clubs.” In the Borderstan area, VIDA is at 1612 U Street NW and at the Metropole, 1517 15th Street NW.

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by March 30, 2012 at 6:00 am 1,347 0

"Borderstan" "Spring" "anokarina"

“Spring” is by anokarina in the Borderstan flickr pool.

Photos of the Day are pulled from the Borderstan Reader Photos pool on Flickr.

Today’s photo, “Spring” was taken by anokarina on March 20 in the Dupont Circle neighborhood.

If you don’t already have a Flickr account, you will need to sign up for one, and then join the Borderstan Reader Photos group. Already a Flickr member? Join the group! You can submit up to five photos per day in the Borderstan reader pool. We are looking for photos from D.C.’s Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods.

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by March 29, 2012 at 3:00 pm 1,432 0

Alejandra, Owens, wine

The Pasos Robles local wine tour is April 10-13. (Alejandra Owens)

By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and let her know your news on Twitter @MichLancaster. Email her at michellel[AT]

Palomar Hotel will host the Paso Robles Grand Tasting Event on April 11, as part of the increasingly prominent California wine area’s national coming out party. The tasting will run from 7  to 9:30 pm and includes 150-plus wines from more than 30 wineries.

That’s a lot of wine for an eminently reasonable price of $60. The full tour runs April 10-13 and includes tastings at wine stores such as Bell’s and Cork Wine Bar on Friday, April 13.

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by March 29, 2012 at 1:30 pm 2,185 0


What’s on stage at five neighborhood theaters? (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Luis Gomez. Catch his photos on Picplz and at One Photograph A Day. Follow him on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos.

It’s closing time this weekend for Twelve Angry Men at the Keegan Theater at Church Street… and New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch De Spinoza at the JCC’s Theater J.

Check the listings below for full details at five neighborhood theaters.

Keegan Theatre at Church Street at 1742 Church Street NW

  • Twelve Angry Men runs through March 31: “The gripping examination of twelve jurors as they deliberate after hearing the arguments in a seemingly open-and-shut case. As prejudices are tested and evidence weighed, the entire jury is forced to look past the show of the courtroom to unearth the shocking truth. Faced with playing the hangmen, these dozen men must first face themselves.” (Keegan Theatre)
  • WORKING a musical, opens April 14 through May 13. “The hopes, dreams, joys and concerns of the average working American are the focus of this unique, extraordinary musical. That the everyday lives of “common” men and women should be so compelling and moving will surprise and inspire anyone who has punched a time clock.”

Lincoln Theatre at 1215 U Street NW

Source at 1835 14th Street NW

  • Every Tuesday night at the Source is Harold Night! with the Washington Improv Theater: “Each week is a demonstration, celebration and experiment in the world-famous improv longform, Harold. It starts with an audience suggestion and explores whatever themes emerge through a series of scenes. All of the action is brought to life by WIT’s own Harold Teams right before your eyes.” (WIT)
  • Fighting Improv SMACKDOWN TOURNAMENT (FIST), starts April 7 and runs on  Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. “FIST: an elimination-style bracketed improv tournament, featuring 58 three-person teams fiercely competing for audience favor. These never-seen-before combinations of improvisers play in new, daring, and hilarious ways over five weeks and six rounds. In the end, only one team can win! The prize for them? Become the reigning improv-smackdown champs. The prize for you? On-the edge-of-your-seat improv shows where anything is possible and you decide who advances to the next round. Every show also features an ensemble performance.” (WIT)
  • iMusical Time Machine, Fridays, runs through April 6. “Travel across the space-time continuum with your favorite musical-theater improvisers in the iMusical Time Machine. Each completely improvised performance takes place in an era randomly determined by that evening’s audience. Will we find ourselves in the Roaring 20s, the Wild West, or the Fab 50s? Whenever the destination, you are guaranteed the musical hilarity that only iMusical can bring.” (Source)
  • …De Mi Corazon Latino (FROM MY LATIN HEART)  Runs April 13-21, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. A “Great Latin-American Songbook” celebration featuring Mexican tenor Jesús Daniel Hernández. Emulating his mentor, Plácido Domingo, the young star sings the classic songs that live in the soul of Latin America. El día que me quieras, El reloj, Dos gardenias, Preciosa, and many more, with DC’s own Mari Paz at the piano.” (Source)

Studio Theatre at 1501 14th Street NW

  • Sucker Punch has been extended through April 8: “Two black teenagers step into the boxing ring and must face who they are–champions or sell outs? Kinetic, comedic, and emotionally bruising, Williams’s masterwork blasts open the experience of being young, black, and ambitious in 1980s London..” (Studio Theatre)
  • Dogugaeshi starts April 11.”Twist unfolds an intimate, abstract, contemporary journey of images and emotions influenced by the rarefied tradition of Japanese dogugaeshi stage mechanism technique and his own encounters with the remaining rural caretakers of this once popular art form. This hour-long performance features original shamisen compositions created and performed live by authorized master musician Yumiko Tanaka. The multidisciplinary production blends Twist’s signature puppetry with video projection design by Peter Flaherty, Lighting design by Andrew Hill and sound design by Greg Duffin.” (Studio Theatre)
  • The Big Meal starts April 25. “From the vantage point of a single restaurant table, five generations share the moments, both epic and intimate, that make a life. Called “one of the more emotionally consuming experiences of recent decades” (Chicago Sun Times), The Big Meal explodes from the mind of one of the country’s most intriguing playwrights.” (Studio Theatre)

Theater J at 1529 16th Street NW

  • New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch De Spinoza runs through April 1: “A literate, suspenseful retelling of the story of the 1656 interrogation of philosopher Baruch De Spinoza, New Jerusalem examines the clash between religion and modernity, faith and philosophy–questions that human beings continue to grapple with.” (Theater J)

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by March 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,890 0

"Borderstan""Garrison Elemntary School"

Garrison Elementary School  on the 1200 block of S Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos).

Neighbors are coming together this Saturday, March 31, to lend a hand to Garrison Elementary School at 1200 S Street NW. Volunteers from Nellie’s Sports Bar, Anywhere Goes and the Logan Circle Community Association (LCCA) will rake, weed, mulch and shovel in the schoolyard from 10 am to 1 pm.

Want to pitch in? There’s plenty to do and no special skills are required. There will be water and lemonade to keep everyone hydrated. If you got ’em, bring gloves, shovels and/or rakes, but feel free to arrive empty-handed.

Garrison’s main entrance is on S Street between 12th and 13th Streets, but look for the volunteers behind the building. (And this being a school, they can always use a bag of books so here’s your chance to donate those old best-sellers to a worthy cause.) Garrison serves students from pre-K through 5th Grade.

This is a rain or shine event, and the organizers say, “You don’t have to come for the entire three hours.” The group will head to Nellie’s Sport Bar (9th and U Streets NW) afterward for social time.

For more information, contact Tony Watkins at [email protected].

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by March 29, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,764 0

"Borderstan" "The Dunes"

Performers on-stage with Amy Saidman. (Eliza French)

From Eliza French. Follow her on Twitter @elizaenbref; email her at eliza[AT]

This past Sunday marked the launch of the “At Your Service” storytelling series, a collaboration between The Dunes LLC and SpeakeasyDC.

The Dunes, a newcomer, opened at 1402 Meridian Place in October of 2011. SpeakeasyDC, a well-known fixture of the DC performing arts scene, began as part of Washington Storytellers Theatre in 1997. Bryan Joseph Lee, Director of Performing Arts at The Dunes, and Amy Saidman, Artistic Executive Director at SpeakeasyDC, are the duo behind the series. Lee describes The Dunes as a “multi-use art space” that has been expanding to incorporate fine art, music and the performing arts.

As The Dunes included more live shows in its programming lineup, a partnership with SpeakeasyDC seemed like a natural fit. Saidman said her organization was excited to be working with the relative newcomer. Both confirmed that the night’s performance, “Vol 1. Into the Fire,” was intended to be part of the series, “At Your Service: Uncut Stories from Inside the Restaurant Industry,” but neither provided specifics about the future installments

"Borderstan" "The Dunes" "Amy Saidman" "Bryan Joseph Lee"

Speakeasy DC’s Amy Saidman and The Dunes’ Bryan Joseph Lee. (Eliza French)

After an introduction and brief anecdote from Saidman, The first storyteller, SpeakeasyDC instructor John Kevin Boggs, kicked off the night at 8 pm, and three stories from food service workers unaffiliated with Speakeasy DC followed. Bartenders Frankie Jones and Andrea Tateosian each shared their stories about life behind the bar, and local actor (and experienced waiter) Alex Vaughan shared the tale of his most harrowing night working at a tapas restaurant.

Each of the storytellers discussed his or her particular experience in the food industry, but the universality of the emotions in each — anger, exhaustion, confusion, pride, self-doubt — gave the stories their impact. A certain sarcastic, often self-deprecating, sense of humor characterized the tone of the evening, and the overflowing crowd in the small space laughed appreciatively and knowingly along with the performers.

The night was exactly what it aspired to be: an introduction to both The Dunes and SpeakeasyDC, and an excuse for people of different ages and backgrounds to listen to each others’ stories and maybe tell a few of their own.

Although there is no definite information about the next performance in the series, both organizations have busy programming schedules in the coming months. Check their websites for details about upcoming shows, and follow The Dunes’ Facebook page for updates about its dedicated performing arts space, “Upstage.”

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by March 29, 2012 at 8:00 am 6,576 0

"Borderstan" "City Dogs"

Dupont Circle resident Britton prepares to take Morgan for a 90-minute walk last Saturday. Britton is one of the volunteers who walks dogs that are being cared for by City Dogs Rescue. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Matty Rhoades and Luis Gomez

Want a dog, but don’t think you can handle the responsibility? Thought about fostering a rescue, but that won’t work either? Then, how about a 90-minute walk with a dog on a weekend day?

Last Saturday we met Britton and Morgan as they headed out for a walk around the Dupont neighborhood. Britton is one of the volunteers who takes dogs from City Dogs Rescue for weekend walks. The non-profit organization, run out of City Dogs at 1832 18th Street NW, has implemented this new volunteer dog walking program which helps City Dogs Rescue take care of the dogs.

All you have to do is go to their website and sign up for weekend dog-walking shifts; dates are available now through August. Volunteers walk dogs — wearing “Adopt Me” vests — in the Borderstan area and provide information to interested individuals who stop to ask about the dogs.

"Borderstan" "City Dogs"

Darren Binder of City Dogs Rescue with Morgan, one of the rescues from a kill shelter.  (Luis Gomez Photos)

“The dog walks not only bring the dogs great exercise, but increase their chances of finding permanent homes,” said Darren Binder, who founded City Dogs Rescue with his partner, Dave Liedman, owner of City Dogs Daycare, and a friend. “We have placed a number of dogs as a result of these walks, including our very first dog, Bentley.”

It turns out that Morgan is a lucky dog. He was on the “short list” at a kill shelter and was scheduled to be put down, according to Binder. “We have 36 people who have signed up for the dog walking program so far,” said Binder.

City Dogs Rescue usually has five to eight dogs at a time that are available for adoption. These dogs are fostered in donated space at City Dogs Daycare, which is a separate entity from City Dogs Rescue — and with local foster families.

“We are in great need for more foster families, and we would ask anyone who can foster a dog in their home to email us at [email protected],” said Binder. “Every additional foster home allows us to save another dog.”

City Dogs Rescue was formed in September 2011 as an all volunteer, non-profit organization (with pending 501(c)(3) status) to rescue adoptable dogs in overcrowded and high-kill shelters where resources are severely limited. Many of the dogs that City Dogs Rescue takes in are just days and sometimes hours away from being euthanized, for no reason other than lack of space. Since September, 32 dogs from City Dogs Rescue have been adopted by individuals and families in the DC metro area.

City Dogs Rescue also has regular adoption and fundraising activities at local bars, stores and community festivals in Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, U Street, Adams Morgan and other neighborhoods. There are two upcoming adoption events at Nellie’s Sports Bar, a City Dogs Rescue community sponsor, on April 7 and April 11.

How to Help

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by March 29, 2012 at 6:00 am 1,475 0

"Borderstan" "specimenlife"

“Kasabian at 9:30 Club” is by specimenlife from the Borderstan flickr pool.

Photos of the Day are pulled from the Borderstan Reader Photos pool on Flickr.

Today’s photo, “Kasabian at 9:30 Club” was taken by specimenlife on March 20.

If you don’t already have a Flickr account, you will need to sign up for one, and then join the Borderstan Reader Photos group. Already a Flickr member? Join the group! You can submit up to five photos per day in the Borderstan reader pool. We are looking for photos from D.C.’s Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods.

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by March 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm 2,426 0

Carniegie, Institution, Science, Whitman, Walker, Health, Luis, Gomez, Photos

Whitman-Walker Health’s annual spring event, “Be the Care,” will take place on April 19 at the Carnegie Institution for Science at 16th and P Streets NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Alden Leonard. Contact him at alden[AT] and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.

Don’t miss out!

Tickets to Whitman-Walker Health’s “Be the Care” annual spring affair are on sale and going fast. “Be the Care” will celebrate U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, who will receive this year’s “Partner for Life” award.

The event, which is to take place on April 19 at the Carnegie Institution for Science at 16th and P Streets NW, will be emceed by Gwen Ifill, moderator and managing editor of “Washington Week” and senior correspondent for the “PBS NewsHour.”

At least one-half of the tickets are already gone, so hop onto Whitman-Walker’s website and get yours now!

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by March 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm 2,291 1 Comment

From Alden Leonard. Contact him at alden[AT] and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.

Heads up! In a break with tradition, DC’s city primary has been moved up from fall to spring, and will take place next Tuesday, April 3. The primary was moved to coincide with the presidential primary in DC. Voters will pick the party nominees for the November 6 general election in four DC Council Wards, the Democratic nominee for an At-Large Council seat, and vote in the Democratic and Republican Party primaries for President.

Moreover, DC’s primary elections are “closed,” which means you must be registered as either a Democrat, Republican or Statehood Green Party member to vote on Tuesday (the huge majority of DC voters are registered Democrats). If you are registered as an Independent, you cannot vote on April 3. Some voters will be voting in new precincts, new wards and new ANC districts, following DC redistricting after the 2010 Census.

"Borderstan" "Primary Elections"

Tuesday: The polls in DC are open from 7 am to 8 pm. (Luis Gomez Photos)

The change to one primary day comes as the District tries to adhere to federal election law, which mandates that absentee voters (such as deployed military personnel) receive their ballots at least 45 days ahead of the November elections.

This requirement created a time crunch for the District, which typically holds its primaries in early September. In order to avoid holding the primary during the summer months, when many voters are out of town, DC officials opted to move the contests back to the Spring.

Critics say the drastic move gives incumbents an unfair advantage. Challengers must begin registering, financing, and publicizing their campaigns nearly a year before the elections, when few voters (or donors) are interested.  Now, with many voters still unaware that primaries are just days away, candidates gain a foothold in a race that is a de-facto general election, since three-quarters of DC voters are registered as Democrats.

One upside to the change is that it consolidates DC’s primaries to a single day. As recently as four years ago, the Presidential primaries were held in April (well in advance of the summer nominating conventions) and primaries for District offices such as Mayor, and City Council members did not occur until September.

Locally, incumbent Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) is running unopposed in the April 3 primary, while Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) is not up for re-election this year.

Process of Selecting Democratic Convention Delegates

Even so, the combined dates probably won’t do much to alleviate any confusion that non-political residents may have about the selection of DC’s convention delegates, a process that is already well underway. In fairness to DC, the process for selecting delegates to the national conventions of the two big parties is complicated and often involves numerous steps in all the states and territories of the U.S.

On March 3, the DC Democratic Party selected its first 14 delegates in a pre-primary caucus. Democratic voters selected seven male and seven female District-level Delegate-nominees, as well as one Alternate-nominee to be part of DC’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention in early September in Charlotte.

This caucus was the only point at which DC voters had a direct say in forming the delegation; the votes cast in the upcoming April 3 primary won’t affect which delegates are chosen, only who the delegates support come September (not a difficult guess as President Obama is running unopposed for the nomination).

The rest of the delegation selection process happens among party insiders and DC officials. In early May, the DC Democratic State Committee will choose its Pledged PLEO (Party Add-on) and At-Large Delegates, as well as several Unpledged (or Automatic) Delegates. Unpledged Delegates are DNC members or other national party figures who have been pre-arranged by the DNC to represent the District. This year’s Unpledged Democratic Delegates will include Mayor Vincent Gray, U.S. House Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and DC’s two unofficial shadow senators.

The total delegation of 44 members will travel to Charlotte in September to be part of the Convention nominating President Obama. To learn more about the delegate selection process, you may want to consult this chart on the DC Democratic Party’s website.

Perhaps this seems like a lot of effort, thought and money being spent to nominate someone who is, for all intents and purposes, already the inevitable choice. But as former ANC 1B commissioner and delegate candidate Brianne Nadeau reminds us, in an underrepresented community such as ours, it is the symbolism behind the vote that counts.

“Without full participation in the electoral process, we will never have full representation,” Nadeau says.

President Barack Obama will be the only name on the Democratic presidential primary ballot. On the Republican side, the choices are Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and John Huntsman (who dropped out of the race). Sorry, folks, Rick Santorum won’t be on the GOP ballot here.

Democratic Delegate Timeline Process

For your reference, here’s a timeline of the delegate selection process:

  1. February 17, 2012 – Deadline for candidates to qualify for District-level delegates or Alternate Delegate  Candidates file a “Statement of Candidacy” and sign pledge with the DC Democratic State Committee designating support for their presidential candidate of choice.
  2. February 20, 2012 – State Party provides a list of District-level Delegates and Alternate candidates to the respective Presidential candidates.
  3. February 24, 2012 – Presidential candidates provide a list of approved District-level Delegate and Alternate
  4. candidates.
  5. March 1, 2012 – Last day for DNC to notify DC State Chair of names of Unpledged Delegates (DNC members)
  6. March 3, 2012 – Delegate candidate selection at the Pre-primary Caucus
  7. April 3, 2012 – Democratic Presidential Preference Primary
  8. April 17, 2012 – DC Board of Elections and Ethics certifies results of the primary; pre-slated District-level Delegates and Alternates are allocated according to presidential preference vote.
  9. April 23, 2012 – State Party certifies elected 14 District-level Delegates and one Alternate to the Secretary of the Democratic National Committee.
  10. May 3, 2012 – DC State Committee Meeting to choose Pledged PLEO (Party Add-on) and At-Large Delegates and Alternate Delegate.
  11. June 17, 2012 – Last day for DC State Chair to inform DNC Secretary of presidential preferences of Unpledged Delegates.
  12. September 3-7, 2012 – Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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